As a leader of your team, it’s your responsibility and your obligation to coach them, to mentor them, and to teach them how to be best on the team. How to best have you be on their side, and how best to serve the overall goal. It’s important to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. And it’s important to be clear about how they can work with you best. If they don’t know how best to work with you, they’re going to mess up all over the place. They’re going to seriously piss you off, and they didn’t even know it. They didn’t even see it coming, because they’re coming from their frame of reference about what is the way to move forward and deal with this project, or communicate with you about a certain thing.
So, what am I talking about here? What I am talking about is, it’s your responsibility, it’s your obligation, it’s your duty as an executive, as an entrepreneur and team leader to show them and actually tell them how you want to be dealt with. What are the things that are going to annoy you? What are the things that are going to undermine your faith in their ability to do the work, to do what you’ve hired them to do?
So, for every single team member and every single role, you need to tell your team, these are the ways that are going to annoy me. Or these are the things that if you do them, it’s going to annoy me. And it’s going to make me think that you’re not smart. And I’m going to start questioning if I made the right choice in hiring you, or promoting you, or putting you in charge of this project.
And the thing is, is they’re just being themselves. You have to tell them, you have to coach them and guide them how to best be on this team, how to best communicate with you, how to best show up to their job. So literally, take out a piece of paper or sit down in front of your computer and open up a Google Doc, and write down a list of 5, 10, 15, things that if they do them, it’s going to really undermine your ability to see their value. It’s going to annoy you. We all have them. What are they?
And it may take a little bit. You may have to think about, well what is it that when somebody does this thing, it sets me off. Or, maybe it doesn’t set you off, maybe you’re not an angry type. Maybe it just makes you think man, that person’s an idiot. Why did they just ask me that? Why would they think that, that’s okay? Well, they thought it was okay because they’re thinking about it the way that they think about things. And to them, it makes perfect sense. Even if you can’t understand that, or access it, it’s why. It’s why they did it. It made sense to them. To you, it’s something that doesn’t make sense, and you would never do that, you would never accept that.
But these are one of the things that you need to communicate with them, how best to stay in good relationship, to stay in good teamwork with you. Make a list, and show it to them. And show it to them with the spirit of, this is how we can stay on the same side. This is how we can ensure that we work well together. And ask them to do the same thing. That’s actually a brilliant ninja move for your entire company, is if you can know how to communicate with each individual person best. Now, it’s most important that they know, since you’re the leader, how to communicate well with you. And how to deliver projects well for you.
But it’s also important that you’re in good relationship with them. So finding out the ways that you can help your relationship stay strong and your teamwork stay strong is important, so ask them.
And make it be really approachable. They might think that it’s not quite their role to tell you how to communicate with them, but it actually is.
If they have a specific way that works best, and you can actually find some of these things out by doing the Kolbe test or Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, some of these tests, you can find it out if they don’t actually know. But help them stay on the team better by learning how to communicate well with you, and learning what things not to do to undermine your faith in their ability to perform their job.